Armenian President Lifts Some Emergency Restrictions


Voice of America
March 13 2008

Armenian President Robert Kocharian has lifted some of the restrictions
on the news media imposed earlier this month under a state of emergency
after opposition protests led to violent clashes with police.

Mr. Kocharian’s decree, which is to take effect Friday, permits news
media to report on government actions and to comment on policies. It
also permits distribution of political leaflets and other campaign
activities. But it continues a ban on what it calls "false and
destabilizing information."

Mr. Kocharian imposed a 20-day state of emergency after clashes
between riot police and protesters killed eight people and wounded 131.

Opposition leaders charge that voting in last month’s presidential
election was rigged in favor of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan,
who won a landslide against former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

In Washington, a White House spokesman says the administration
continues to follow the situation with concern. He urged a swift
solution to the crisis.